Welcome to my first review blog. I am happy to say that I had a great experience this weekend. I decided to travel to the Andorra - Roxborough area (Philadelphia) to T & F Farmers' Pride. I had been there before. Well, sorta. My friend, Lisa, and I were driving from her house in Manayunk to Ikea in Conshy*. Apparently I forgot to take the emergency brake off my new car, and people were yelling out the window to me, "hey, your car is smoking!". I stopped in the parking lot of T & F Farmers' Pride to make sure we weren't on fire and thankfully, we were not. This time I decided to go back for a smokin' hoagie. See what I did there?
So now that I am writing my first review, I feel the pressure to get it all right for those who are reading. Here's what I decided. I will dig into a few key components for each of my reviews. I will start with the ordering experience, the unwrapping, the ingredients (bread, the meats and cheeses, the "veggies" and condiments), eating experience and finish with my overall thoughts. If there is another component you would like to see, please feel free to comment. I promise to branch out from Italian Hoagies but these are my favorite, and will be reviewed more than others. I will bring in more, I promise, especially if you send me recommendations. On to the story.
I love Sundays in the fall. I love them best when I don’t have plans and can do whatever I want (within reason). Since my family was going to a friend's house for the Eagles Game, I volunteered to grab the hoagies*. I took a nice, scenic ride down Ridge Ave right passed the Andorra Shopping Center (if coming from the burbs) to find T&F Farmers Pride and their sizeable parking lot.
Shop Experience: Usually I order ahead, but I decided to order when I got there. The menu was posted in many places and honestly, my food was ready so fast, I almost didn’t have enough time to peruse the amazing selection of Italian specialties. They have DiBrunos cheeses, P&S past and raviolis, lots of cookies and desserts plus essentials. I wanted everything. I did get some pizzelle cookies and a salad for later.
I ordered the Italian with prosciutto and asked for sharp provolone. I also had oil, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onions along with salt, pepper and oregano. I was told later that I could have ordered a seeded roll, which I would have done had I known it was an option. I also get the pickles and peppers on the side, because I like to select their placement on my hoagie. What else do I like? I like when the person taking the order makes sure you don’t forget something by accident. They ask all the important questions,. Mayo, oil or vinegar? Onions? Salt, pepper, oregano? Pickles and peppers? All the important questions were asked.
The staff was friendly and efficient. They are also cash only but have a MAC machine. Yes, you can tap MAC. I still call a cash machine a MAC machine.
You can get their hours and menu on their Facebook page and they reply quickly on FB Messenger too. I didn't see a place where you can order online, but I called to check their hours and they picked right up. They also have many hoagie options including veggie options.
Unwrapping: It was like unwrapping a fine present. It was expertly wrapped with only a little oil leakage. There was a layer of tissue-like paper inside which only got me more excited to see what was inside. The hoagie was neatly tucked inside and looked exactly how I like it - condiments, then cheese, meats, lettuce, tomato, onions - in that order - then seasoning. YES!
Bread: Crusty, dense, and great for a hoagie. Not seeded, but excellent, especially in holding everything inside. Remember, you can order a seeded roll which was a newby miss on my part.
Condiments: There was a lot of mayo and light oil. However, the hoagie wasn’t so slick from condiments that the meat and cheese slid out. I hate that. I don’t want to use the vise grip to keep everything from flying out the back. I will say that my second piece, due to the amount of mayo resulted in a hoagie explosion. You know what I mean, right? When the back of the hoagie splits like a pair of tight pants? I did add my pickles and peppers before eating. They fit nicely under the lettuce and didn’t come flying out.
Meats & Cheese: High quality (Dietz & Watson) meat and cheese. The meat was cut super thin. They must have an insanely sharp slicer - fingers beware. The cheese was cut thicker which could have been overpowering but instead, I took some out and ate it on the side. I am not going to waste some excellent sharp provolone (stinky cheese is my name for it). I call that bonus cheese.
Veggies: Perfect amount of lettuce, tomato and onion and none were overpowering based on them being cut super thin. The lettuce was also shredded which I prefer. I think this adds to it not falling apart.
Reorganization Rating: Are you one of those people who rearranges your food when it comes? Taking it apart, then reorganizing the parts to your liking? I am. In this case, I didn’t rearrange a thing. It was perfectly set.
Eating experience: I don’t know about you, but I get insane when my food is messy. I don’t want it all over my hands, my shirt, my lap. I want it where it belongs -- in my mouth and being able to eat it one handed is a bonus! I did it!
Next meal survival rate: I like saving a sliver for the next day so I can report back on its survival rate. I had it for lunch and crazy enough, I think it tasted even better. Maybe everything sorta melded together? I don’t know but it was fabulous. Don't be afraid to save some for later.
Overall happiness rating: The experience was fantastic start to finish. It was a very quick ride from the burbs, the ordering experience was pleasant and my Italian Hoagie was glorious. My husband and friends ordered chicken salad hoagie (does that actually count as a hoagie?) and turkey and cheese hoagie and both seemed pretty happy. I would recommend visiting T & F Farmers' Pride and I hope your experience rivals mine.
Looking forward to continuing this adventure by hitting up some of the best hoagie places in Philly and the burbs. I can’t wait to get back to my South Philly spots to see how they compare to what my imagination tells me from my childhood.
*Conshy is Conshohocken, PA, a suburb of Philly where there are cool restaurants and bars
** Disclaimer: I am Philly through and through but I am not a huge football fan. Please don't hate me. Does it help that my husband bleeds green?